Fall Colour Report Ontario 2023 + 6 Amazing Viewing Experiences

Autumn in Ontario is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Here’s how to plan a spectacular viewing experience.

Ontario's boreal and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest regions are internationally known for their fantastic displays of colourful fall foliage. The conical coniferous trees like pine, spruce, and fir—which remain green year-round—provide a stunning contrast to the warm hues produced by the area’s deciduous trees like aspen, balsam poplar, and of course, maple, and the result is nothing short of magical. 

Wondering when and where to catch the best views? Grab your favourite pumpkin-spiced beverage and use this guide to plan your ultimate fall foliage adventure.

When is the Best time to See the Leaves Changing in Ontario?

The leaves can start their transformation as early as September, depending on seasonal temperatures, but generally, prime viewing time is late October. There are several fall colour reports that you can use to pin down the best time for viewing, by region. Because different regions are on a slightly different schedules when it comes to colours changing, there are lots of viewing possibilities! 

1. Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report

The Ontario Parks fall colour report is an interactive map with detailed information about the foliage situation across the Ontario Provincial Parks. 

At a quick glance, you can see where, and how, foliage is changing across Ontario, thanks to colour-coded leaf icons. Clicking on them gives you more detailed information about the percentage of colour change, and the percentage of leaf drop! 

Below the map, detailed information for each provincial park states when information was last reported, the dominant colour, and tips for best viewing within the park. 

2. Algonquin Park Fall Colour Report

Algonquin Park has its own, detailed Fall Colour Report, with diagrams showing the leaf status of their maple, aspen, and tamarack variety of trees. 

Their report also identifies ideal locations for viewing the fall colours, updated based on the latest conditions, and features a livestream from outside the visitor centre, so you can check up-to-the-minute views. 

3. Muskoka Fall Colour Report

The Muskoka fall colour report is a thorough guide to the region’s autumnal colours, as well as suggestions for top Muskoka-area routes to drive in the fall, best lookouts, and fun ways to experience the foliage, like:

  • Aboard the Muskoka Heritage Place Portage Flyer Train, a half-hour scenic trip along the Muskoka river, aboard a 1948 Diesel Electric Locomotive.
  • Taking a self-guided tour of the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery, made up of over 90 murals in Huntsville, the Lake of Bays, and Algonquin Park, that celebrate the work of The Group of Seven. 
  • Zip-lining through the trees, or walking one of Treetop Trekking’s high ropes courses, for a truly immersive experience of the autumn colours. 
  • On a Sunset Cruise of the Muskoka Lakes aboard the Peerless II. Check their Facebook page for their own video colour reports! 

Where Can You See Fall Colours in Northern Ontario?

Pretty much anywhere! Immerse yourself in the beauty of autumn in Northern Ontario by driving one of our scenic roadways, biking or hiking one of our exceptional nature trails, or kayaking or canoeing one of our numerous lakes. Remember colours change earlier the further north you go, so plan accordingly! 

Visit here for more information on seeing the leaves change in Northwest Ontario

Visit here for more information on seeing the leaves change in Algoma Country

6 Spectacular Viewing Experiences

If you’re looking for an extra-special way to see the changing colours, try one of these autumn adventures! 

1. Agawa Canyon Tour Train in Sault Ste. Marie

This scenic rail adventure, departing from Sault Ste. Marie, is one of the most popular ways to see the fall colours in Ontario. This full-day trip provides epic views of the mixed forests of the Canadian Shield, but also includes a 90-minute stop at the Agawa Canyon Park – only reachable by rail! Here's everything you need to know about the excursion. 

2. Stay in a Yurt at Minaki Yurt Adventures

Camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – especially once the temperatures drop – however outfitted with bunk beds and a source of heat, a yurt can be a comfortable way to get the full fall foliage experience. The Mew Lake campground at Algonquin Park and Minaki Yurt Adventures offer yurts year-round.

3. Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout in Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Batchawana Bay 

It’s a 7 km round-trip hike through a forest of sugar maples and yellow birch to this magnificent lookout. The payoff: stunning views of Lake Superior and a canopy of maple trees. 

4. Pigeon River Provincial Park in Northwest Ontario

For an extra-dramatic view of the autumn colours, hike the 2 km loop High Falls trail, along a historic logging road, where views of the leaves are enhanced by a picturesque, 28-meter-high waterfall.  

5. Helicopters Canada Sightseeing Tour in Nipissing  

For an unforgettable experience, charter a helicopter to enjoy the spectacle of Lake Nipissing changing seasons from above. Tours can be booked ranging from 12 minutes up to 2.5 hours.

6. Temagami Tower in Temagami 

On the summit of Caribou Mountain, this 100-foot-high tower provides stunning panoramic views of the area, 1300 feet above sea level. The White Bear Forest below is largely old-growth pine, which makes the shocks of colour from the deciduous trees that much more special. 

Autumn in Northern Ontario is full of colourful adventures. Wherever you choose to explore this fall, happy foliage viewing! 

About Celeste Percy-Beauregard

Celeste Percy-Beauregard is an Ontario-based writer who discovered just how large our province is when she travelled across it in a cube truck performing children’s theatre and eating all of the poutines along the way.

Recommended Articles

The Essential Northern Ontario Holiday Gift Guide 2023

Shiny things, cozy things, smart things, yummy things...local gift ideas for everyone!

POV: Switching Industries Mid-Career Like a Boss

BYO enthusiasm and skillset – there’s a job in Tourism just for you

Indigenous entrepreneur, nature lover, career builder, opportunity finder.

Brian Still talks motivation, mentors, and more when it comes to a tourism career.

When Your Internship Turns Into an Amazing Career in Tourism

Sequoia Wemigwans talks Science North, Science Communication, and Cultural Connections

Got deer?

A complete guide to backyard deer feeding made easy—what to feed them, how often, and why it's so much fun

10 Essential Stops on Ontario's Antique Trail

Turn back time (literally—the end destination is in the Central Time Zone!) by exploring these Northern Ontario antique shops.

6 Inventions from Northern Ontario That Will Make You Proud

From the fastest game on ice to medical devices that are saving lives.

The Great Big Northern Ontario Story Contest

Enter to win $1000 for your best travel story!

Pride Events in Northern Ontario 2023

Northern Ontario celebrates its 2SLGBTQI+ community this summer. Here's your calendar for everything Pride-related in the region.

9 Amazing Glamping Destinations in Northern Ontario

A wilderness of luxury awaits.

7 Neat Town Slogans in Northern Ontario

Gardens, gold, and the North's prettiest village—these Northern Ontario towns are known for some unusual things!

List of Ontario Government Covid Health Measures Starting Jan 5 2022

Can I still travel? What's open? How many people can gather indoors? Your questions answered here.

Surf Northern Ontario

Bring your board and learn what the Great Lakes have to offer.

Live Your Best Outdoor Life with a Job in Tourism

Mani Cuza's summer job turned into a year-round opportunity to flex soft skills and build connections in her field.

The World's Smallest Record Store Is Not Where You'd Expect

In a converted meat trailer off the Trans-Canada Highway lies a tiny record store named after a walrus penis.

Embracing the Drive from Winnipeg to North Bay

Rock stars and six-year-olds are remarkably similar as travel companions—needy, demanding, prone to sulking and tantrums...

This Man is Cycling from New Brunswick to BC to Raise Awareness for Mental Health

"I could fly out there and be there in 12 hours. If I did, I would be the exact same man who left. Or, I could do something crazy. Ride my bike across Canada."

Best Vinyl Record Stores Ontario (That aren't in the GTA)

Add these northern gems to your bucket list.

9 Northern Ontario Artist Residencies That Will Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Apply now!

Looking to rep your love of the North? There's a toque for that.

Rep your Northern Ontario style with these gifts ideas for any occasion.